Mercer Island Reporter


Honored for play

April 24, 2014 · Updated 4:59 PM

The new playground at Luther Burbank Park is the recipient of the 2014 ‘Cultural Competency’ award by the Washington Recreation and Parks Association. The Mercer Island Preschool Association helped with both the funding and design for the new facility. / Mary L. Grady / Staff Photo

The Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department was honored earlier this month by  the Washington Recreation and Parks Association (WRPA) at its annual 2014 Awards Banquet at Seattle’s Magnuson Park.

Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Business and Operations Superintendent, Jana Raasch, is the recipient of the 2014 President’s Award. Raasch was recognized for her contributions in developing WRPA’s new Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan update consists of WRPA’s mission and vision statements, strategic goals and initiatives that are built on a foundation of core values and principles. Updating the plan proved to be a major undertaking, including surveys, focus groups, and other forms of research.

The new Luther Burbank Playground was awarded the spotlight award for Cultural Competency.

“We wanted a new playground that was not only ADA-accessible, but we wanted play features that everyone could enjoy,” said Bruce Fletcher, Parks and Recreation Director.  The Parks Department partnered with the Mercer Island Preschool Association in designing and fundraising for the playground.

The playground features unique play structures, such as a second-story play structure, wheelchair access and an ADA-compliant merry-go-round.

City parks and recreation representatives and landscape architects from across the state gathered to honor WRPA individuals and organizations for their contributions to the field.


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